Spring is on our doorstep and for an avid container gardener, like me, that means I am anxiously waiting to put my plants back out into the sun. I absolutely love the joy of fresh herbs such as mint and chives and I have even coaxed some jalapeños into growth over the winter that I cannot wait to harvest when they are mature enough. Because of my love for fresh herbs and vegetables, I am always surprised by how many people think vegetable gardens are ugly. I can assure you, when planned and tended with care they are anything but.
Here are some perfect examples of just how lovely an edible garden can be!
Inspired by these beautiful harvest gardens, here are some tips and ideas from Matthew Murrey Design to make your vegetable garden beautiful.
Add variety to your garden!
Mixing up different types of vegetables can help give your garden year round interest and also be beneficial for your harvest. Planting things of varying heights and seasons will enable you to get a larger harvest from your space vs. planting by species.
Flowers make great additions to vegetable gardens by adding color and interest. Consider plants that offer additional benefits to the garden, are edible or attract beneficial insects (bees, butterflies, etc).
- Chrysanthemums and Marigolds repel many pesky insects that might otherwise feast on your edible plants.
- Ornamental peppers provide a bright pop of color and can spice up your dinners.
- Edible flowers provide for a cheery garden. Add them to desserts and salads for a special touch.
Consider the plant’s needs.
Always look for plants that go together when planting mixed vegetable gardens. There are many plants that love to exist side by side. Companion plants even help each other to grow. Beware, there are also some plants that do not do well together, so do your research). My favorite sites to help explore which herbs and flowers will work together are:
As with any garden or outdoor space, I always recommend finding something you love and working to achieve that same effect. The photo above is from one of my favorite gardens at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens in Boylston, Massachusetts (though the photo does not do it justice).
Good luck and happy harvesting! I would love to see what inspires you along with any designs you come up with and any implementation photos you would like to share with us. If you have any questions or photos, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to point you in the right direction!